FROM BEYOND Screening
June 12, 2017 at Nurse Bettie’s, NY, NY
When I first met Natasha Taylor, many things about here were evident. She’s beautiful, intelligent, educated, and can hold real conversation at a higher level. She’s also got the greatest hair of any human in history. What wasn’t immediately evident—and I would only discover about her months later—is that she is a huge horror fan. Which likely makes her a goddess among us mere mortals. We’d been promising to catch up and talk shop for a while now, so it was perfect that a few weeks ago, cozy NYC bar Nurse Bettie’s started doing a cult horror flick exposition on Mondays. And so it was that I ended up in her company for a screening of Stuart Gordon’s oddly phallic FROM BEYOND with an Allagash White ale in hand. Some gooey fun onscreen, quality beer and great company made for an awesome evening.
We met around 7:30 a little farther uptown in a place called John Doe (thankfully, Brad Pitt wasn’t outside screaming, “WHAT’S IN THE BOX?”). In honor of Jeff Hanneman, I ordered a Heineken as Natasha and I discussed the merits of David Lynch, how Fellini is quite the acquired taste, and the body horror of David Cronenberg. The best part of this leg of the night was when Natasha texted Joseph, the bartender at Nurse Bettie’s, to find out what film was showing. He texted back “From Behind or Creepshow.” This was hysterical and had both of laughing. Especially after Natasha pointed out how funny it was not that he accidentally typed “From Behind,” but also how it played out when combined with “Creepshow.” I certainly would not invite a Creepshow From Behind.
One beer down, and we were off to Nurse Bettie’s. Natasha generously covered my round, and then got us an Uber. I’d recently taken my first Uber in Washington, D.C. and was happy that I was neither drugged, nor raped, nor murdered never to be found again, so I’ve my very rational fears of Uber a bit. Just a bit.
We arrived at Nurse Bettie’s and I recalled I’d met Joseph back in September or so. It took a few seconds for him to recognize me, and then he was impressed I’d lost 70 pounds since he last saw me. Joseph is a really nice guy, and a great bartender. He turned me on to Allagash White ale, which he described to sweet perfection as “It’s like if you like Blue Moon, and this is the next level up.” As the night progressed, he kept a beer in my hand at all times, and that always keeps me happy.
As we settled in, the curator arrived with his copy of FROM BEYOND. Much as I love CREEPSHOW, I was glad he’d chosen Gordon’s film instead, because I hadn’t seen it in many years. It’s got almost the entire creative team and cast from RE-ANIMATOR (most notably missing is Bruce Abbott), and it’s another H.P. Lovecraft story, but FROM BEYOND is a lot more trippy, gooier, and definitely more phallic. It’s also a blast with a small crowd at a bar, as Natasha and I and a few others laughed at Ken Foree running around a mansion in his underwear and Jeffrey Combs fought an otherworldly creature with what amounted to a penis protruding from its forehead. Gross out gags and silliness abound, and it was an ideal movie to watch with an audience.
Which made me realize just how insular my own viewing experience usually is. I watch scores of horror flicks, most of them either in my room or on my dad’s couch. Thing is, I usually watch them alone. Even when I went to see ALIEN COVENANT a few weeks ago, on a rare trip to the theatre, I went solo. So to watch FROM BEYOND with a handful of fans was much more fun than I’m used to. To watch it with Natasha Taylor made me smile a lot. She’s a great gal, and I really am fortunate to have her in my life. We’re a lot alike, and our love of horror forms an even greater bond between us that I very much enjoy. It’s always a pleasure to engage in conversation with her, and even more fun when we’re talking horror.
The night went beyond FROM BEYOND, but those stories aren’t really germane to this recollection. Well, maybe the part where the beautiful, really cool gal offered me a vintage first press vinyl of a Slayer album is. That could be love. But I’ll keep those details to myself.
Nurse Bettie’s will be doing the cult horror showings for the next several weeks. If you want to check out a flick in some good company, come on down on Monday. Say hello to Natasha and me. Make sure to tip Joseph well, as he’ll be sure to take great care of you. Just don’t be a Creepshow. Especially not From Behind.